Tom Rosenberger, Instructional Media Technology, discussed technology use in the classroom, how it is used, and how it can be improved. A student survey at Saint Rose showed that over 30 percent of the students who were surveyed believed their professors understand technology and integrate it into their classrooms. The survey also showed that close to 50 percent of students said their “professors believe that technology can be a useful tool and they encourage students to use it.” Another survey showed that the vast majority of Saint Rose Professors “want and believe” they can use different types of technology in their classes. These technologies include MP3 players, video conferencing, video cameras, and smartphones. Rosenberger further cemented the realization that technology is wanted in classrooms by stating that more than 2/3 of colleges in the United States consider online learning and tools to be just as effective – if not more effective – than regular classroom learning. Rosenberger referred to today’s college students as being a part of a participatory culture. A phrase which he described as meaning, “a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal membership whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.” This type of culture is why it is so important that professors integrate technology into their classes. Several useful tips were given to those teachers who feel they are not capable if integrating technology. These tips were: follow the course goals, refer to colleagues or other educators for help, and consult with the media technology specialists on campus. So what are these educators to do when their students come calling for help? First they should make sure their students know who they are and what they are capable of helping them with. If the technology isn’t working make sure the students know it is the technology’s fault. Make sure to scaffold the projects to help students. And finally, teach the students to use technology to help themselves (use Google).
Dr. Silvia Mejia, Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages Department and American Studies Program, discussed a technology project she used as final project for her Spanish 203 class. The students were challenged to make a trailer for a fictitious movie. In their trailers the students were to speak Spanish. Dr. Mejia gave the students a list of topics they must discuss in their videos. The purpose of this assignment is to further cement the vocabulary the students have learned throughout the class into the students’ minds. Dr. Mejia’s students even stated that they will never forget any of the lines from their trailers because of the amount of memorization, practice, and number of scene takes it took to make the videos. Basically the repetition the assignment called for allowed the students to be immersed in the Spanish language while filming the trailers. Dr. Mejia mentioned at the beginning of her presentation that immersion has been proven to be a more effective form of learning than memorization.
Dr. Jennifer Marlow, Assistant Professor of English, discussed Pecha Kucha, a presentation based assignment. Pecha Kucha is a Japanese term for “chitchat” or “20/20.” Dr. Marlow said that the purpose of this form of presentation is to “avoid death by PowerPoint.” So, what is Pecha Kucha? It is a PowerPoint presentation that has advanced slides (20 seconds per slide). Each slide contains only a single image or phrase. The text can be no smaller than 32 point font in order to keep the information per slide small. The images can be original or found and 20 seconds of video may also be used. The visuals can be used to further solidify a point or argument. This type of presentation allows for a closer look at materials. The combination of language and visual is meant to make the presentations more memorable and less over stimulating as many PowerPoint presentations can be.
The following YouTube video was part of Tom Rosenberger’s presentation and is mentioned in the poscast.